Parents decry rising suicide cases among students in Kirinyaga

Jane Muthoni a mother who lost her 28 year old son in 2014 after Ephantus Muthii became an addict,committing suicide.
Jane Muthoni a mother who lost her 28 year old son in 2014 after Ephantus Muthii became an addict,committing suicide.

The high suicide rate among students in two villages in Kirinyaga county is alarming.

Twelve suicide cases have been reported in Kara-ini and Mutuma villages in the recent past, most of them involving students.

Parents now blame alcohol and drug abuse for the deaths of the promising youngsters.

The most recent case occurred on January 25 and involved form three student Alex Mwangi from Karaini Day Mixed Secondary School.

The school’s principal, Chomba Gituru, said drug addiction in the two villages is out of control.

“Bhang and illicit brews are openly peddled within the vicinity of learning institutions. The peddlers are never worried that they will be arrested. Something must be done now to arrest the situation or else we will lose a whole generation,” Gituru said.

He was speaking when residents held a demonstration against illicit brews.

Mutuma Secondary School Michael Mugweru shocked area MP Gachoki Gitari when he revealed that some students even steal school textbooks which they sell at throwaway prices to buy bhang. “We have lost many valuable textbooks, which our bhang and kuber-addicted students steal and sell cheaply to buy the drugs, yet when we bring this to the attention of their parents, they always defend their children,” Mugweru said.

Residents of the two villages in Kirinyaga Central constituency brought to a standstill court proceedings recently when they stormed Kerugoya Law Courts protesting the release of a convicted drug peddler Paul Muthii Munene by the High Court judge in Kerugoya.

The case was presided over by Justice Robert Limo, who released Munene on a Sh500,000 bond pending the hearing and determination of his appeal.

Limo said those behind the protest were acting from a point of ignorance since convicts are entitled by the constitution to appeal against their jail term within 14 days. “As a court, we are guided by the constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, and anyone who might wish to challenge the legality of the action we took is free to file an affidavit with the courts and it will be acted upon appropriately,” he said.
Jane Muthoni, a 50-year-old widow, said she lost her drug abusing son, Ephantus Muthii, in 2014 after he committed suicide.

Area MP Gachoki Gitari promised to present a memorandum to the Head of State over drugs and second-generation liquor in the county.
"We had succeeded in the war against the second-generation liquor but right now it is business as usual and I will not relent until the presidential directive on the matter is implemented to the letter for the good of our children," Gitari said.

Kirinyaga county liquor licensing chairman Nyamu mwara said his mandate is to ensure that drugs and second generation brews are wiped out of Kirinyaga county completely.

He said schools in the area are following the wrong procedure in tackling the drug menace, saying he is only getting information from the media while the teachers are supposed to work closely with him to ensure this problem is tackled.

He however said a sensitisation programme is starting in all schools in Kara-ini and Mutuma to ensure students keep off alcohol and harmful drugs.

"I am engaging school heads on how we are going to do the sensitisation so as to eradicate the drugs in the villages that are in Kariko sub-location," Mwara said.